Agency POV: Facebook Hashtags
So, the social world is all aflutter with news first reported by The Wall Street Journal that Facebook is working on incorporating the hashtag function into its platform.
As marketers we’re excited because hashtags on Facebook would provide a new search enhancement allowing users to group conversations and sort messages about one topic or news event. As social counsel, it gives us another tool to help brands find fans and get into conversations. It also could give us another tool on Facebook to promote conversations and much like Twitter, use hashtags to find fans, aggregate stories and react to trending conversations if relevant to the brand.
Not knowing what’s exactly coming though, our initial take is, “Why?”
The common language on Facebook is wordier and more conversational than on other social media platforms. It doesn't have the same post-length constraints as Twitter and Instagram. It’s even stranger when you think about Facebook's rollout of Graph Search, which is supposed to be so semantically smart in its parsing.
Why build a cornerstone feature that is so reliant on users to appropriately tag something with a hashtag? Why not build a search function that is actually smart enough to determine what’s relevant or recommend topic meta tags based on content without the distracting hashtag?
But rest assured, there’s a long-range plan behind it. Maybe it’s a positioning move to unseat Twitter as more people do all their socializing on their phone. Maybe it’s part of a grand plan for Facebook to bump Twitter from their hold on the instant feed.
Our faith is in your hands team Zuckerberg. We’re #waitingwithanxiousanticipationforyournewhashtagcoolness.
Caribou Coffee: Revitalizing The Nation’s Second Largest Coffeehouse
Caribou Coffee Rebranding
Our insights indicated that consumers are willing to pay a little more for a premium cup of coffee, in part because they’re also buying an experience. To better communicate the soul of the brand and differentiate the Caribou experience from its more-corporate competitors, we relaunched the brand by evolving the founders’ original tagline, “Life is short. Stay awake for it.” This seize-the-day mentality permeated through every brand touchpoint. No longer was a Caribou cup simply a cup, but rather, it is a reminder that life’s worth staying awake for. Since the relaunch, shareholder value has increased, traffic has improved and comp sales increased for the first time in three years, while outperforming the QSR industry. A 500 percent jump in Facebook fans increased online engagement and the campaign has been spotlighted in everything from PerezHilton.com to Fast Company.
Caribou Coffee is the world’s second-largest premium coffeehouse, but consecutive years of sales declines, driven by a recession that vilified the $4 mocha, left Caribou Coffee in the position of redefining its value and brand experience. Caribou needed to distinguish itself from competitors as disparate as Starbucks and McDonald’s.
Schwinn: Bike It Forward Case Study
Bike It Forward
With spring approaching, we set our sights on National Bike Month in May. After all, if one brand could rightfully own the month, it’s Schwinn. We then created a campaign to celebrate 31 days of bicycling goodness. Bike It Forward let users spread the joy of May Bike Month by choosing a friend on Facebook to win a new Schwinn. To demonstrate the lineup, users could choose from all categories, including Urban, Hybrid, Road, Mountain, Cruiser and Kids. And to reward their kindness, if a friend won, they won a new bike, too. Banners, Facebook ads, a satellite media tour and social media mentions from the likes of Summer Sanders and Pee-wee Herman helped drive traffic to the experience. By the end of May, we had increased web traffic by 40% compared to May of the previous year, our Facebook fanbase grew by more than 3,000% and the campaign generated more than 500 million impressions. A joyous May Bike Month, indeed.
Colle+McVoy: Super Chatter XLV Case Study
Colle+McVoy Super Chatter
By creating search queries in Collective Intellect and Radian6, we analyzed how people shared their Super Bowl experiences across the social Web via tweets, Facebook updates, blog posts and more. Once our analysis was complete, we designed an infographic to visually display the top ten themes and served it up using the Google Maps API. To bring awareness to Super Chatter™, we relied entirely on the media that covered the Super Bowl to spread itself. One tweet and Facebook post sent thousands of visitors to collemcvoy.com/superchatter, where they spent an average of 23 minutes browsing through the infographics. While the idea of Super Chatter was spreading through social media, our brand sentiment was the most favorable it has ever been, and visits to the Work section at collemcvoy.com increased 40 percent.
We set out to monitor the social Web and uncover how the Super Bowl influences people’s behavior throughout the nation. While numerous agencies focused on assessing the impact of TV commercials, we broadened our analysis to identify the top behavioral themes by dissecting the social media footprint of Super Bowl XLV.
Caribou Coffee: Wild It Up!
Caribou Coffee Wild It Up
At the time of the promotion, Caribou Coffee did not have an official page on Facebook. For a brand that’s about fun and customer engagement, this project served as the perfect foray into the space. After developing an official page, we created the Facebook application Wild It Up!, which allowed consumers to “wild up” a photo of themselves by selecting from a diverse library of images, such as gold teeth, wild animals, tattoos and, of course, Wild beverages. Users could then use a printout of their new Wild It Up! picture at any Caribou Coffee to redeem it for a free Wild Cooler. The pictures were displayed in stores, reinforcing Caribou’s customer-centric spirit. And an untold number of coupons were distributed that created millions of impressions. Product sampling took a new form of ROI as Caribou’s Facebook audience grew from 0 to 150,000 in just one month’s time.
Shortly after winning the Caribou Coffee business, we were given the task of helping solve a perennial problem. The summer months have a way of slowing down coffeehouse sales. So we turned to Caribou’s lineup of Wild Coolers to offset the usual dip when the mercury rises. Since the beverages are popular with a younger audience, there was an opportunity to broaden Caribou’s customer base in a space that was still uncharted for the premium coffeehouse: social media.
Caribou Coffee: Make The Cup Case Study
Caribou Coffee Make The Cup
Visit the site: www.cariboucoffee.com/makethecup »
Colle+McVoy realized that Caribou’s broadest reaching media vehicle was its cups. Millions of cups each year serve as walking billboards or “owned” media. With the brand relaunch, we created a series of cups featuring handwritten “Bouisms” highlighting things worth staying awake for. Building on that momentum, we created MakeTheCup.com, which allowed consumers to tell us what they stay awake for, and possibly land on the next generation of Caribou cups. The consumer promotion spiked site traffic by 26 percent, and 150 of the best submissions made it to millions of new Caribou cups.
Despite being the second-largest premium coffeehouse in the world, Caribou Coffee is dwarfed by Starbucks when it comes to ad spending. With such a large spending gap, we needed to find a unique promotion to engage customers in our “Life is short. Stay awake for it.” campaign.
Schwinn: Bell Choir Case Study
Schwinn Schwinn Bell Choir
Visit the site: archive.collemcvoy.com/schwinnbellchoir »
At the core of Schwinn’s DNA is joy, so instead of sending yet another sales message into the seasonal clutter, we created a new twist on an old holiday favorite. We assembled a team of Schwinn-riding carolers who played beloved holiday songs using custom-made, specially tuned Schwinn bike bells. We also built a site where people could exchange e-carols of the Bell Choir performing the songs. To extend the spirit of giving, Schwinn donated bikes and helmets to kids in need for each carol that was shared. The Schwinn Bell Choir has been recognized by the Webby Awards, AIGA and the FWA for its rich Web experience.
At SchwinnBellChoir.com, visitors were not only be able to listen to the Schwinn Bell Choir perform classic carols, they also had the opportunity to spread the joy by sharing e-carols with friends and family. Each song shared helped donate a Schwinn bike to a child in need during the holiday season.
Land O’Lakes: Appealing To The Next Generation of Moms
Land O'Lakes Site Redesign
Visit the site: www.landolakes.com »
A completely redesigned landolakes.com helps consumers interact with the established brand in new ways. Built to appeal to both less-experienced, tech-savvy moms and more-seasoned cooks and bakers, the site features a modernized color palette, engaging photography and better social connectivity. The Test Kitchen section highlights the brand’s expertise with tips, photos and how-to advice. Intuitive searching gets you to great recipes quickly. And recipe pages are designed with the user in mind, featuring enhanced functionality, while themed collections trigger more ideas. With more than 3,000 recipes and 5,000 pages, sharing the simple goodness of everyday food has never been more user friendly.
The Future Is in Your Pocket: All Things D
If there is one overarching theme coming out of The Wall Street Journal’s D: Dive Into Mobile conference, it’s that the future is in your pocket.
It’s no surprise that a conference focused on mobile is going to claim that mobile is the future, but when the executive chairman of Google, the CEO of Mozilla and the CTO of engineering for Facebook are doing the talking, it can’t be ignored. As Mike Schroepfer, the CTO of Facebook said, “If you’re building for the Web, you’re doing it wrong.” It wasn’t just tech companies evangelizing this message either. Bob Bowman, president of Major League Baseball Advanced Media said, “We’re big believers that this [phone] screen is the first screen. Anybody that doesn’t believe that is living on another planet or doesn’t have children. Reality is the second screen.”
That brings up another point made clear during the conference: For younger generations, mobile is their primary avenue of communication. Nancy Lublin, CEO of the nonprofit DoSomething.org, reaches more than a million teens every week via Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr, but her number one way of reaching them is SMS. In fact, her organization boasts a 97 percent open rate on SMS, with an average reply time of just 14 minutes. If you want to reach a teen, it better be on mobile.
Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel illustrated an adoption pattern worth noting. His ephemeral photo-sharing app was widely adopted by teenagers, followed by an older generation representing the teens’ parents. Only then did the millennial generation start to catch on, an adoption pattern to remember the next time you’re launching an app or a marketing program. To put Snapchat’s success in perspective, Instagram gets 45MM photo uploads a month. Snapchat gets 150MM. Why? Spiegel said, “We believe the default should be ephemerality.” The notion of ephemerality is worth watching. The permanence of Facebook or the self-aware nature of Instagram and Twitter restrict us, in a way in which we are consciously publishing a piece of our idealized self. Snapchat is very much in the moment and in many ways is closer to everyday conversations that live on in memory rather than on your permanent record. Brands should acknowledge this shift and consider moving some resources in this direction to attract this audience.
Notably absent from the conference was Apple. While execs from Snapchat, Waze and WhatsApp were there to represent iOS app success, most off-the-cuff comments about the future of mobile centered on Android. The open nature of the Android operating system plays perfectly into mobile, especially when thinking of mobile as a context and less as a device. If the context is a house or a car or a backyard, the versatility of Android can adapt to that setting. As marketers, we need to design for this future, giving more weight to location and time of day, rather than device. This way, we can put context data to use to deliver the kind of relevant stuff that makes peoples’ lives easier, productive and fulfilling.
SXSW: It’s All About ME
While everyone else in our industry attended SXSW as a developer, advertiser, designer, or what have you. I actually attended SXSW as your consumer. And what I learned is that your entire industry is slowly getting in on my little secret:
It’s all about ME.
Yup, you used to think that you could bucket me with a bunch of other people who have similar HHIs, genital parts and ages. You were essentially saying that Marilyn Manson, Bobby Brown and Tim McGraw were the same person and had the same values. Turns out that we all want to be spoken to individually and that technology and the digital space are enabling that. Not only do we want to be spoken to individually, we want it on our terms and on our own schedule. I don’t want to wait for episodes of my favorite show; I want the entire season and I want it now on any device (see: Netflix’s “House of Cards.”)
And I want to be the star of the show. At SXSW I got to sit on the throne from HBO’s hit series “Game of Thrones.” I got my picture taken and of course I put it on Facebook so all my friends could see ME. The New York Times made a profile of my face out of words, but then I learned that the words weren’t about ME—not cool. I visited the GE Brilliant Brew truck for a free latte and got my face drawn into the foam. I could have gotten a free latte with a GE light bulb drawn in the foam and only waited a few seconds, but instead I waited 45 minutes to get ME in the foam. It ended up looking like a mash-up of Abe Lincoln and Mr. Clean. But it was well worth the wait, Why? Because it was a picture of ME.
I was also shocked to see that brands were actually offering me things that I needed and wanted rather than yelling at me with a megaphone. Chevy offered me free rides around town through their “Grab a Chevy” program. AT&T let me power up my phone in a secure locker as I roamed the conference (while feeling naked without my phone). And countless brands gave me free stuff, like 3M post-its, battery packs and cell phone cases. The cell phone case came from a company that lets me customize and design my cover with—what else—pictures of ME.
The sessions were great, and, shockingly, they all revolved around ME. A few sessions touched on the power of humor, and I like to laugh—as long as you make it easy. And storytelling—I love a good story and you’re actually starting to learn that I would rather hear about the story behind your products than the features of your products. I attended Jonah Berger’s session (he’s the author of Contagious) and realized that you’ve started to figure out what makes things contagious. And as you suspected, it’s the content and type of content that makes things memes, not just calling them “viral” or making sure the right blogger or TV show mentions them. And, speaking of contagious, I waited in line one hour to get a picture of Grumpy Cat (and ME).
I even found it comforting to hear the stories of how Panera Bread and Whole foods are becoming more meaning-driven. It makes ME feel good when I eat there.
So keep it up marketers.
Your consumer (ME)
The "Dark Social" Meme
Senior editor at The Atlantic, Alexis Madrigal, last year published a blog post about social media and its impact in generating web traffic: “Dark Social: We Have the Whole History of the Web Wrong.”
With approximately 5,400 Tweets; 4,600 Facebook Likes; 1,200 shares on LinkedIn; and 1,100 +1s—to say nothing of the blog commentary and other related discourse in digital channels—it’s fair to say that “Dark Social” was a sticky idea that went viral.
To me, the main point of the post is that today's web analysts are decreasing the perceived value of social interactions in their reporting by relying on tools that track visits by referral sources—tools that invariably allocate otherwise socially driven traffic coming from, say, instant messenging and email to generic sources such as “direct” means.
Other, more general implications include:
- The notion that optimizing for social media means more than looking at Facebook and Twitter. The content itself has to be appraised.
- Formal social networks have brought a form of structure to social interactions that did not previously exist (in as simple a format).
- Along with the structure of formal social networks there is not only a loss in privacy, but a gain in social record keeping.
There have been plenty of counterpoints to the Alexis piece. For instance, the notion that the web has only been social since the rise of social networks (ca. 2005) ignores the fact that the Internet—of which the worldwide web is a part—has been social since its inception. Is anyone up for a dial-up chat on a local bulletin board service (aka BBS)?
Regardless of semantics about the Interwebs, I was intrigued by the notion that our analyses might be downplaying the true role of social interactions simply on account of our toolsets.
I therefore replicated the Chartbeat methodology Alexis outlined in “Dark Social” and ran a test of the site Colle+McVoy launched earlier this year for the Pedal Minnesota campaign (www.pedalmn.com).
- Exclude Sources (relevant to the site I analyzed)
- Specific media vendors/partnerships (i.e., exploreminnesota, bringmethenews, tuneupstation)
- Exclude Media (relevant to the site I analyzed)
- CPC, organic, email
- Exclude Landing Pages (clearly not “Dark” in their nature)
- Home page (i.e., /)
- Main section header pages (i.e., /map/|/events/|/resources/|/pedal central/|/contact/|/partners/
My results reflected the general patterns Chartbeat isolated with traffic data to The Atlantic. At first glance, this might suggest we need to be more thorough with any site reporting that requires us to be 100 percent certain about all socially derived visits. However, owing to other truths about site analytics and methodologies (deactivated cookies, for instance, decreasing what we can actually report as full and complete records), we will never be 100 percent certain about all such visits.
Analysts working in agencies should keep this in mind. As much as we'd like to report firm campaign results to our teammates and, ultimately, our clients, courtesy of web analytics tools that purportedly count unique visitors to your properties and tally the sources of their arrival to those properties, we need to be transparent about the fact that—unless we're pulling server logs—our data is always going to be directional.
Social Sharing Buttons Are Overrated
Seeing social media sharing buttons across the top of a site has become the norm. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and even Google+ have buttons on almost every page we see. Some tools, like addthis.com, even let you add over 300 social network buttons to your site. With all these choices, how do you determine which networks are the best for your site?
Through testing, we set out to identify just that, the best set of social sharing buttons to include on one of our client sites. What we found was surprising: Pinterest is both the hero and the villain of social sharing buttons.
What We Did
We tested two different combinations of sharing buttons. The Original Set included buttons for Facebook and Twitter. The Test Set added Pinterest and Google+ buttons, along with a “more” dropdown that included tumblr and StumbleUpon. Each set was presented about 50% of the time on a highly trafficked site. We tracked shares using both Google Analytics and network specific insights platforms, such as Facebook Insights.
What We Learned
The Pinterest button has volume, Facebook is close
In the Test Set, Pinterest and Facebook accounted for 63 times more button shares than all four of the other networks combined. In the Original Set, Facebook outperformed Twitter by a factor of 93. So, for this audience Google+, Twitter, StumbleUpon and tumblr sharing buttons are all non-factors. We can’t make blanket statements about the success of those network buttons, as this behavior is audience driven, but those networks regularly have a lower volume. Visitors are still sharing content on lesser networks, but it appears that they prefer other methods of sharing than buttons.
The Pinterest button bullies Facebook
The addition of the Pinterest button increased the total number of button shares almost 500%, but came at the cost of a 33% reduction in Facebook Likes and shares. In fact, adding the Pinterest button led to a 31% loss of shares on all other networks. It would seem that visitors are only willing to share using one button, and that Pinterest takes precedence. Is Pinterest worth the reduction of Facebook shares?
The Pinterest button also bullies Pinterest
When given the option to use a sharing button instead of an organic method, such as the Pin It! bookmarklet, visitors will use the button. This seems obvious, but there are some implications. There was a 30% reduction in organic Pins once the Pinterest button was added. So, total button shares went up with the addition of a Pinterest button, but a majority of the increase was from people using the button instead of sharing organically; ultimately at the cost of Facebook interactions.
What’s the value of a Pin?
The value of a social share is as contested as the measurement as value of a social follower. Pinterest, being new and unique, is even harder to define. There’s a few subtle ways Pinterest and its users behave that provide some insight into the benefit of a Pin.
Pins quickly lose branding. While looking at your feed, no source is displayed for Pins or Repins. In fact, to see the source while shifting through a person’s pins you need to navigate to the particular user’s individual boards. Repins account for 80% of all Pins, one of our client’s popular photos last month was pinned 13 times from the site and repined over 11,000 times. The mobile experience behaves similarly.
So, without a user taking extra steps to find the source of a Pin, it remains fairly anonymous. If your photo content is not easily recognizable, Pinterest users will likely not know it’s related your brand. If your brand has easily recognizable content, such as cars or mascots, branding will remain. Except for a few iconic pieces, food, clothing and furniture are all products examples that often are Pinned without brand recognition.
If you run a photo-centric site, you’ve undoubtedly noticed spikes in Pinterest referrals. For sites we track, usually one or two Pins are responsible for the majority of the increase. On average, we’ve seen visitors from Pinterest spend 70% less time on site, have a bounce rate increase of 30%, and mostly view only the page they landed on from the Pin. In the data we analyzed, site visitors from Pinterest provide little value to high-level objectives.
Unless you’re targeting an audience that matches a lesser-used network’s demographics, leave the buttons off the site and let people share organically.
While some brands have used Pinterest accounts correctly, value for most brands lies in the organic pinning already happening without a Pinterest button.
We’re big believers in never-ending testing, so this is just the beginning. As we roll out other styles and combinations, we’ll let you know how these initial findings change.
Music + Creativity: Part One
Stepping off the elevators at Colle+McVoy, employees and visitors are immediately greeted by sounds of Minnesota’s beloved, eclectic radio station, The Current, pumping through the speakers. Its presence isn’t just a welcomed distraction, it helps define and capture the energy of this agency. The Current doesn’t have a specific format — it’s not top 40, it’s not classic rock, it’s not lite jazz. It’s a station that tries to share the most creative and interesting music that programmers can find, whether it’s a gem from the past, or an obscure new artist on the cusp of stardom. Colle+McVoy has a similar desire — to foster a community of creativity and share the most innovative work we can with the rest of the world. Our music choice is definitely no accident.
It is apparent from one walk around the offices of C+M that our love for music definitely does not stop in the lobby. Desks are adorned with headphones and speakers of all shapes and sizes. Personal rock out sessions or cubicle dance parties can spontaneously erupt at any time. And there is always someone talking about a show they saw, will see, or wanted to see but couldn't attend. Music permeates our walls and ears 24/7. It truly is creative fuel that plays an enormous role in establishing a fun, inspirational and open atmosphere, rather than a stale, dry one.
So what is it about music that is so intrinsically tied to creative-driven industries, advertising in particular? According to Don Campbell, author of The Mozart Effect and a renowned authority on the transformative power of music, "Music can be used to stimulate, activate, and relax the mind and body.” All of which are key elements in a successful creative process, and hence, producing stand out work for clients. What’s more? Elena Mannes, author of The Power of Music, states, "scientists have found that music stimulates more parts of the brain than any other human function."
At Colle+McVoy —based in the heart of urban, arts-heavy Minneapolis— music offers employees respite in the middle of a stressful day, provides sonic caffeine for late nights and early morning deadlines, and gives us just the right amount of inspiration to successfully complete a project. For C+M, creativity is not a department, but an expectation of all employees. So although musical tastes are wide and varied at C+M, there’s no doubt that it positively impacts every individual, acting as a catalyst for us each to reach our full creative potential.
A fierce advocate of music in almost any environment, Campbell believes, “More and more businesses are recognizing the importance of music in the workplace." This is certainly true at C+M, and has been for some time. Since music surrounds is ingrained in our culture and pushes us to do great work, we have decided to go one step further by bringing bands and musicians to perform live at the agency. This initiative, dubbed C+M Sessions, will kick off its inaugural performance this evening, Thursday, Aug. 2, with local roadhouse rockers, The 4onthefloor. It’s time to take off your headphones, put on your dancing shoes, and swill a cold beer to some rock and roll in the summer sun.
Rescheduled: Hunter Weeks, Producing Documentary Films
Feedit - Hunter Weeks
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Caribou Coffee: Holiday 2011
Caribou Coffee Holiday 2011
This holiday season, Caribou Coffee is Making it Merry with the return of their much-loved Reindeer Blend and other holiday favorites, as well as a new Fair Isle look that adorns everything from cups to window clings—and transforms stores into a cozy holiday retreat. In-store posters, cup wreaths and Fair Isle stockings further complement the festive feel, while a new Sweater Maker Facebook App allows consumers to dress their Facebook photos in holiday sweaters and share them through various social networks, successfully spreading the holiday cheer. For every sweater that’s created on Caribou Coffee’s Sweater Maker Facebook App, a real one will be donated to someone in need. Now that’s Making it Merry.
Taubman Shopping Centers: Yearbook Yourself Case Study
Yearbook Yourself Case Study
Ever wondered what you might have looked like in a past life? YearbookYourself.com let users upload their photos and see themselves in classic 'dos and vintage outfits from previous decades. With each look, users also learned about today’s hottest fashions and deals from each mall. From Pee-wee Herman and Lance Armstrong to the Jimmy Fallon show and thousands of blogs, the site was quickly embraced by pop culture. More than 15 million images were shared on Facebook, and the site generated a 49 percent click-through rate to mall sites. The Yearbook Yourself iPhone® app took the experience mobile and was featured on the iTunes® Staff Favorites and the Top-Paid Apps list.
Taubman, owner of 20 upscale malls across the United States such as Beverly Center in Los Angeles, wanted to create a fun and engaging experience to break through the morass of traditional back-to-school promotional messaging (“Look cool for school! For less!”). And it needed to convince teens and their parents that Taubman malls not only have the hottest stores and fashions, but great deals, too.
C+M New Hires: Creativity Thrives
Lee Kimball, copywriter
If you were an advertising superhero, what would your name be and what would you do?
Exclaimo, Keeper of Superlatives. I would fly across the sky (in a glorious green, crushed velvet unitard) inspiring writers to gussy up their copy a bit and make everything grand.
Where do you find creative inspiration?
Music is huge for me. I like listening to music that fits the tone of the brand I’m working on to give me creative concepts, and then I write like mad while listening to jazz or classical music (or maybe techno if there's a glow stick in the vicinity).
When you want to hide in the Twin Cities, where do you go?
It depends on whom I'm hiding from, but generally I go for the men's restroom at C+M. But considering I don't own a cell phone, it's pretty easy to hide pretty much anywhere.
Phil Kjelland, production artist
Superhero: I'd be known as 'Kern-Duder' – able to rid the world of all poorly kerned text…and the misuse of smart quotes.
Creative inspiration: I work with so many talented individuals that it's impossible not to be inspired by their creative thinking and design solutions.
Hiding spot: It wouldn't be a very good hiding place if everyone knew about it.
Nick Watts, interactive producer
Superhero: Tim Machine – A fan-boy of Web pioneer, Tim Berners-Lee, who after hacking into Lee's original CERN mainframe was mysteriously given superpowers, including the ability to vocally mimic the dial-up login sound, and a lifetime membership to America Online.
Creative inspiration: I'm a motorcycle and bicycle fanatic, so I get creative inspiration while out riding. When I'm in front of a computer, I follow tons of blogs. One of my favorites is The Selvedge Yard http://theselvedgeyard.wordpress.com/. There's also a surprising amount of inspiration on Janet Reno's wiki page, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janet_Reno
Hiding spot: At 6'7" it's hard to hide anywhere, but I can always escape while riding my bicycle on the quiet roads along the Mississippi River.
Jonny Thompson, interactive producer
Superhero: That's a tough one, but I would want to be Jonny McFly. I would drive a DeLorean time machine with the ability to go back in time and create Facebook before Mark Zuckerberg.
Creative inspiration: I love watching TED talks. During my commute to work, I'll try to listen to one or two talks on my iPhone.
Hiding spot: I'm a big fan of Barrio in St. Paul. I drink their fantastic margaritas while playing Kung-Fu on the big screen. And if you go there in the summertime, they open up the giant doors to let in the cool breeze from Mears Park.
Sean Cooley, designer
Superhero: So as an advertising superhero, I believe my name would be something along the lines of Vectorer, Pica or maybe Steve the defender of Kerningville, not sure which one has the best ring to it. I feel like everyone needs a trusty sidekick, so maybe Sir Phot O. Shop (cousins of Sir Mix-A-Lot) or Madam Ill U. Strator. As a team, we would fight crime, kick butt, kern, track, lead (not sure what the verb is for adjusting leading) and maybe even start up a rec flag football team. My archenemies would probably be Widows, Orphans (not actual widows and orphans, but the ones that reference page layouts and design), Comic Sans, Curlz and Mayo (seriously that stuff creeps me out).
Creative inspiration: Not going to lie, generally the first 15 minutes at work, I kind of go through a list of design blogs for daily inspiration. The blogs' contents are anywhere from band posters, furniture design, illustrations, photos, diy projects, albums to just found objects. I'm a big fan of finding inspiration in the unexpected, whether it's music or something entirely unrelated to the current project.
Hiding spot: When I'm not out fighting crime, and I get some downtime in the Twin Cities, I tend to play Jenga against fellow competitors at the Jenga Centre just down the road from where I live or practicing the ability to bite my own ear (it has not been going well so far). Those more or less take up most of my time, but with the remainder hours, I frequent awesome places such as Bulldog, CC Club, Bryant-Lake Bowl, Triple Rock and Seventh St Entry. When I want to live life on the edge by crossing the river via car and running the risk of never finding another parking spot near where I live, I enjoy Northeast Minneapolis and Grand Ave area in St. Paul, especially burgers at the Blue Door. Biking is seriously bad ass in this town and I feel like it's a challenge to hit up all the routes, but something I'm definitely going to try and take on, granted it my be a 10 year process but I've got to aim high. I'm about 2% of the way there. Since I'm new to the area, I'm intrigued to take on the winters here, but definitely pumped about going to some hockey games. Yep, that's about it for now, oh and I'll get working on the logo for this superhero shindig asap.
TJ Beagan, broadcast producer and manager
Superhero: The Grinch – with a mission to eradicate poor planning.
Creative inspiration: The cinema.
Hiding spot: Any racquetball court.
C+M Revamped Land O’Lakes Site Makes Brand Stand Out
MINNEAPOLIS, Dec. 16, 2010 - With the launch of a new Web site, the venerable 85-year-old LAND O LAKES brand has been infused with digital flavor and is poised to take on new and emerging technologies that develop in the future.
Colle+McVoy, digital agency for Land O’Lakes Dairy Foods business, today announces the launch of the new www.landolakes.com, which creates a sustainable online presence for the Dairy Foods brand and connects it with a younger demographic via a more relevant interactive experience.
"While the LAND O LAKES brand has been a key ingredient in American’s kitchens for generations, the new site makes our brand more relevant to emerging and growing families and helps us grow our business," said Joan Cowan, director of marketing services, Land O’Lakes. "We are now better connected to our consumers, and we’ve laid the foundation for interactive marketing success in the future."
Besides better connectivity, the revamped site, with more than 6,000 pages of comprehensive information, has a new overall look and feel. This includes a modernized color palette, engaging photography and simplified browsing to make the site more inspiring and relevant to consumers, while still maintaining the value of the Land O’Lakes heritage.
"We’ve created an interactive brand experience that better reflects the rich Land O’Lakes story and helps make the lives of our technology-savvy and busy consumers easier," said Craig Pladson, director of interactive strategy, Colle+McVoy, which oversaw the strategy, creative, production and development, and launch of social media profiles on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr. "Extensive research and strategic planning went into building the site to make sure that consumer needs are anticipated and understood, so that cooks and bakers get the inspiration and support they need."
The centerpiece of the new site is the revamped Test Kitchen area, which allows users to have improved access to the expertise of Land O’Lakes. The company is now better able to share findings from its real-world Test Kitchen, the place where recipes are conceived, prepared and perfected by a team of experts. The new area is designed to guide people at home in their kitchens with tips and techniques, answers to submitted questions, and a blog about topics shared by the experts. The Test Kitchen will also continue to build a following through each of the social networking sites and offer help to users via social network channels.
Additional site features include:
- Recipes that are easier to find, read, share and discuss
- A more simplified, predictive search tool
- Visual walk-throughs of many recipes on the blog
- More relational content (e.g., side dish pairings for meals)
- Streamlined ratings and reviews
- Greater variety of recipe collections
- Tips, photos, videos and how-tos relevant to next-generation consumers
About Land O’Lakes
Land O’Lakes, Inc. is a major Minnesota-based food and agriculture company, and is a leading producer of quality dairy products. The Land O’Lakes consumer Web site, found at www.landolakes.com, supports its retail products, LAND O LAKES® Butter, Spreads, Deli Cheese, Dairy Case Cheese, All-Natural Eggs and other licensed dairy products such as Half and Half, Seasonings, Cocoa and Cappuccino mixes. For more information, visit www.landolakes.com, www.facebook.com/landolakes or follow on Twitter @landolakesktchn.
C+M Wins Two Acclaimed Internet Honors
MINNEAPOLIS, May 5, 2010 - The Colle+McVoy creation, www.YearbookYourself.com, won two Webby Awards in the Best Use of Social Media category of The 14th Annual Webby Awards. Hailed as the "Internet’s highest honor" by the New York Times, The Webby Awards is the leading international award honoring excellence on the Internet.
"This is a tremendous honor since this category represents the most cutting-edge work in social media, an area that every company is looking to leverage." said Mike Caguin, executive creative director, Colle+McVoy. "This award recognizes the hard work of many people, as well as the forward-thinking vision of our client partner, Taubman Centers."
YearbookYourself.com won both the Webby Award given by The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS) and the People’s Voice Webby Award in the Best Use of Social Media category. The previous iteration of the site won the People’s Voice Webby Award last year in the Viral Marketing category. With nearly 10,000 entries from all 50 U.S. states and more than 60 countries worldwide, the 14th Annual Webby Awards is the biggest in its history and continues to be the leading international award honoring excellence on the Internet. YearbookYourself.com was one of only five finalists in its category and was voted the people’s favorite after more than 700,000 votes were cast online. The cross-section of winners hailing from 14 countries will be honored at an event hosted by B.J. Novak of NBC’s The Office. in New York City on June 14. A full list of winners can be found at www.webbyawards.com.
"The Webby Awards honor the very best of the Internet," said David-Michel Davies, executive director of The Webby Awards. "YearbookYourself.com’s achievement is a testament to the skill, ingenuity and vision of its creators."
The unparalleled Webby win is the latest award for Colle+McVoy, which was also recently honored with four awards in The One Show and won the 2010 Adweek Buzz Award for YearbookYourself.com in the online category.
Over the last two years, YearbookYourself.com became an instant hit and a pop culture phenomenon for client Taubman Centers. The site was featured on more than 45,000 Web sites, blogs and media, including USA Today, Tech Crunch, ESPN, VH1’s Best Week Ever, The Early Show on CBS and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Numerous high-profile personalities embraced it, including Lance Armstrong, Pee-wee Herman and Evan Williams, co-founder of Twitter, who changed his profile picture to a Yearbook Yourself photo. The fun was wildly infectious and there were more than 28 million total visits to the site in the last two years. Once "yearbooked," the site easily allowed people to send their pictures to friends and post them to blogs and social networking sites (this year alone, more than 16 million Yearbook Yourself photos were shared via email or posted to Facebook). And the Yearbook Yourself Facebook fan page garnered more than 70,000 fans.
C+M Wins 2010 Buzz Award
MINNEAPOLIS, April 13, 2010 - The Colle+McVoy-produced Web site www.YearbookYourself.com won the award in the online category of the 2010 Buzz Awards. The Buzz Awards honor the best in brand/media integration and recognize campaigns that catch fire, produce brilliant product placements and use media in innovative ways that invade pop culture.
"Winning this award in the online category is a real honor and a testament to our digital expertise," said Mike Caguin, executive creative director, Colle+McVoy. "Generating buzz for a client is one thing, but creating something that becomes a pop culture phenomenon is rare. We are grateful for our forward-thinking clients like Taubman who appreciate transformative ideas."
There is only one winner per Buzz Award category (17 total) and YearbookYourself.com is the only winner in the online category, which recognizes the most attention-getting and effective use of the online medium to market a product, such as through a blog, short film or a viral e-mail campaign. As a result, the site will be profiled in a full-color spread in the May 3rd Buzz Awards section in Adweek, Brandweek and Mediaweek and online. This is the second Buzz Award for Colle+McVoy, which won in 2007 for the Minnesota State Lottery Don’t Belittle Powerball campaign. A full list of 2010 winners can be found at www.adweekbuzz.com..
Over the last two years, www.YearbookYourself.com became an instant hit and a pop culture phenomenon featured on more than 45,000 Web sites, blogs and media, including USA Today, Tech Crunch, ESPN, VH1’s Best Week Ever, The Early Show on CBS and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Numerous high-profile personalities embraced it, including Lance Armstrong and Pee-wee Herman, and Evan Williams, co-founder of Twitter, changed his profile picture to a Yearbook Yourself photo. More than 15 million visitors uploaded photos to the site to see themselves with classic hairdos and in vintage outfits spanning five decades. Once "yearbooked," people sent their pictures to friends and posted them to blogs and social networking sites (more than 11 million Yearbook Yourself photos were shared via email or posted to Facebook). And the Yearbook Yourself Facebook fan page garnered 70,000 fans.